Tracking impeachment: President Trump called for the whistleblower to testify publicly, as televised hearings on the impeachment inquiry are scheduled to begin next week with three high-profile testimonies.
Tuesday's gubernatorial and legislative elections in key states including Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi gave the public their first look at how voters might side in 2020.
Democrat Andy Beshear's apparent victory over incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in Kentucky was a highlight, as was the red-to-blue flipping of Virginia's House and Senate for the first time in 26 years. While Bevin has requested a recanvass, Mississippi's gubernatorial was decided with Republican Tate Reeves edging Democrat Jim Hood.
Coverage was divided over the true importance of the elections. Most left-leaning reporting painted the results as underdog upsets and major losses for Trump and Republicans; right-leaning reporting often downplayed the off-year elections and turned focus to where the GOP maintained control.
Check out some other big stories this week: U.S. starts formal withdrawral from Paris Climate Agreement; Nine U.S. citizens killed in Mexico; and Judge rules clinicians cannot object to abortions on moral or religious grounds.
ABC News and Media Bias: ABC anchor Amy Robach was caught on a hot mic saying the network 'quashed' her Jeffrey Epstein reporting. There were glaring differences in subsequent media coverage.
Snippets from the Left
"Voters all over the country headed to the polls to decide local and state elections. The headline-grabbing contest was Democrat Andy Beshear beating Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor’s race — a state President Donald Trump won by a whopping 30 percent in 2016. Some caveats: Bevin was among the most unpopular governors in the country, and other Republican leaders in the state outperformed him on Tuesday."
"But beyond the optics of a Trump ally losing in Trump country, there’s one other worrying sign for Republicans in Tuesday’s results: The 2018 trend of the suburbs rebelling against the president and his party is continuing. Bevin also performed poorer than expected in the traditionally Democratic Appalachian coal counties that went for Trump in 2016."
David Leonhardt for The New York Times
"It’s a strategy we’ve seen before from Democrats — namely, in the 2018 midterms: Portray Republican incumbents as extremists who are hurting ordinary families and instead promise common-sense solutions. The strategy has proved highly effective, too. [Andy] Beshear evidently pulled off a big upset, beating [Matt] Bevin in a state that voted for Donald Trump by 30 percentage points. Beshear leads by 5,000 votes, or 0.4 percentage points, in the latest count, and he has claimed victory."
"For the first time in a generation, Democrats now control both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s office, clearing the way for a bunch of progressive policies, including raising the minimum wage and enacting tougher gun laws."
"Thanks to the legal work Ruth Bader Ginsburg did before joining the Supreme Court, the high court has looked to the 14th Amendment to protect women from discrimination. But even under that measure, which was passed after the Civil War and meant to protect the rights of formerly enslaved Americans, discrimination against women does not receive the same level of scrutiny as it does when levied against African Americans or other protected groups."
Snippets from the Right
Alexandra DeSanctis for National Review
"It’s always worth noting when an incumbent loses his seat, but it’s even more interesting when that incumbent is a Republican in a state that has become solidly red at the national level. Even so, efforts to paint Bevin’s loss as a sign of a major realignment in Kentucky politics — or as a death knell for state Republicans on the ballot in next year’s general election, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell — are off-base."
"In Virginia, unlike in Kentucky, it’s hard to argue that the poor results for the GOP had nothing to do with President Trump. The trend toward supporting Democrats, particularly in the wealthy, populous northern Virginia suburbs, had been underway before Trump appeared on the scene, but it also has accelerated enormously during his tenure."
"“What we know is that there really are a number of irregularities,” the governor told reporters about Tuesday’s election, adding that “there’s more than a little bit of history of vote fraud in our state.”"
"The nearly clean sweep by Republican candidates for Kentucky’s top jobs followed President Trump’s Monday night rally on their behalf – and seemed to contradict a mainstream-media narrative that the gubernatorial vote was a gauge of Trump’s popularity rather than Bevin’s."
"“Republicans have moved so far to the right, they have alienated the vast middle of the electorate in Virginia,” said Mark J. Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. “The suburbs, previously the key battlegrounds here, are gone to the GOP right now.”"
"Some of the Republicans’ House seat losses can be chalked up to a map imposed by a federal court that ruled the previous lines an illegal racial gerrymander. The new map was significantly more favorable to Democrats, and most of those redrawn districts swung for the party."
Snippets from the Center
"Inside Elections changed its rating on the governor’s race from Lean Republican to Toss-up in mid July after finding Gov. Matt Bevin very vulnerable. So those who were surprised by Democrat Andy Beshear’s declared victory weren’t paying close enough attention."
"Just more than a dozen years ago, Virginia had two Republican U.S. senators. Now, Republicans are just trying to field a credible challenger against Sen. Mark Warner and Democrats have full control of the commonwealth at the state and federal level after winning majorities in the Legislature. A pretty remarkable political turnaround."
"What did all of these races have in common? Well, at a high level, the results provided further evidence for a widening urban-rural political divide. In particular, Democrats’ successes on Tuesday (and we’re including their narrow Mississippi loss as a “success”) were driven by their remarkably strong performances in suburban areas. For example, Democrats’ gains in Virginia pretty much all came in suburban seats, and Beshear and Hood ran up huge margins in suburban counties compared to what the Kentucky and Mississippi maps looked like in 2015. And there was even more good news for Democrats in the suburbs in local races. We’ll take a closer look at those results in an upcoming article, in which we’ll explore the question of what these results mean for 2020."
"The election wins now clear the way for Democrats to pass a wide array of liberal policies, including gun control measures, increases to the minimum wage and ratification the Equal Rights Amendment."
"The suburbs of Washington, D.C., and Richmond and around Norfolk and Virginia Beach provided Democrats with key districts to pick up. Aiding in the their victories were recently redrawn House district lines after federal judges ruled that the previous map was racially gerrymandered."